Today part of our group went to one batey to help build a basketball court (what the community had requested), and the other went to a batey about an hour’s drive from the mission to host a medical clinic. I went to the clinic.
A batey is a settlement built around a sugar cane plantation where the workers live. The one we visited today was a small settlement of humble green houses with a company store and a school. The source of water was a spigot in the middle of the village.
Our clinic was housed in the school. My role was to sit at the first station where blood pressure was taken and to offer to pray with the patient as they began their visit to the clinic.
My partner in ministry was Adelle who speaks good Spanish. However, about half of the people only spoke the local form of Creole.
As the clinic was being set up, a few of us sat outside with the children, making paper airplanes. The children also helped me knit, counting stitches as I cast on.
We saw the maximum number of patients we can serve, 50, though a few extra family members tagged along, too. Adelle introduced herself and me, and then one way or another we asked if we could pray. All but two patients said yes. I had overfilled my oil stock, and so those anointed with a healing cross on their foreheads were clearly marked. In fact healing oil soon covered everything I touched.
At the end of the day, Adelle and I, accompanied by a male translator, walked the batey. Last night at prayer, we had talked about having Christ’s authority to do God’s work. I felt that Christ Presence walking the dirt road of the batey. We walked up to individuals on porches and groups of folks sitting in the shade and offered anointing and a blessing. All said yes. At every open door, we offered a house blessing, and doorway after doorway was marked with an oil cross.
We were able to visit about a quarter of the homes before the bus was ready to bring us back to the mission.
I know that God is always present and is always with us, but despite a day in the heat with endless people, I rode home on a yellow bus over bumpy, dusty roads full of joy and overwhelmed with the beauty of the Lord.